CHICAGO — ComEd now has the green light from the FAA to use drones for inspections. It will be the first utility in the nation using drones to inspect power lines and assess storm damage.
Currently, ComEd uses foot crews, vehicle crews and even helicopters to inspect it’s lines.
But now, thanks to a partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology, it will also be able to use drones.
The prototype of a drone ComEd plans to use was developed at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The drone will be able to quickly assess ComEd’s lines and substations without putting anyone in danger.
A typical drone can only fly 8-18 minutes, the battery drains quickly in the air. But IIT’s drone will be able to land and move along the ground to help save battery life.
ComEd hopes the drones will help find damage before it occurs and prevent outages while also helping to restore service quicker when outages do happen.
ComEd hopes to launch the drones this summer.